“Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth;
for I am God, and there is no other.”
(Isaiah 45:22 NIV)
Blessings can pull me away from God. Struggles can push me closer to Him.
It is a constant tug-of-war. Oswald Chambers wrote, “Troubles nearly always make us look to God; His blessings are apt to make us look elsewhere.”
Whether surrounded by blessings or struggles, focus is the key. Pride rears its ugly head when my attention drifts off Jesus. Concentration on Christ quickly dissipates. Distracted by blessings, I forget to thank God for simple gifts – health, security, prosperity, and relationships.
His blessings are often polluted with self-imposed curses. My desire for blessings are tainted with greed. Although I expect good things to come my way, the Holy Spirit says I deserve no good thing. It is all God’s grace.
Troubles can whip me into a 180-degree turn, an about-face. In a humph, I place my hands on my hips and pout, “Why me, God?” My heavenly Father prompts me to lift those hands from my hips, throw my head back, and thank Him for the wake-up call. Pain did the trick and ushered me into His throne room.
I observe those who suffer. Are they more spiritual than I? I watch heartache draw them closer to God. When I avoid pain I might miss out on blessings and lessons to be learned.
Have you been blinded by God’s blessings, like me, distracted and perhaps temporarily pulled away from Him? Have you complained about problems, ignoring potential miracles? We are called to maintain a balance between the easy times and the hard, always trusting Jesus.
I will welcome the struggles and blessings, knowing they are all from my Savior’s nail-pierced hands. I hope you will, too!